#bestdayever

Rave run

For our August day-off run, we had wanted to find some trails near Mt Adams. With Ann's (newish) dog, Cedar, our options were to go shorter than usual with him, or to go near Mt Hood so we could drop him off at her moms' house. We chose the former and made it Cedar's best day ever.



Susan & Cedar at the trailhead

PCT!

Ann picked me up around 6:30am and we drove a little more than 2 hours to the Williams Mine trailhead. There were maybe three cars already there, and one through-hiker walked past as we were gearing up. It was a nice trailhead with plenty of parking and maybe a tenth of a mile of gravel off the paved road.

Delectable huckleberries

Ann & Cedar and all the fireweed

The first section of trail, on the PCT, was gentle uphill through pine forest that at times felt really tough-- surprising only until we checked our altitude and saw that we were above 6,000ft. There were ripe huckleberries all over this section, and I was in my happy place grabbing the biggest, darkest berries with both hands and stuffing them in my face as I "ran" at a slow crawl with Ann checking back every once in a while to make sure I was still moving forward at all.

Forcing Ann to pose with Mt Adams and a huge rock

PCT winding through the burn

About a third of the way through we came to the Round The Mountain Trail, and took a left to stay on the PCT. On this section we ran along a ridge with amazing views from Mt Hood to Mt St Helens to Rainier. I loved the close view of Mt Adams and its massive glaciers, the rocky, treeless inclines above us, the sweeping monochrome burns, and the vast forests laid out below.


Cross trails and views at the top of the ridge

It was along this flatter, rolling section that I thought I saw a marmot. I stood still, watching,until I doubted myself into believing it was just a stump. As we ran on, though, it gave a scream and we saw it move. Score one for the marmot!

Mt Adams views and burn-curled trees

Those glaciers tho!

Just before we turned west onto the Riley Camp trail, we stopped at Sheep Lake for food and a break. Ann threw a big stick into the water for Cedar and he loved running out to it, swimming back, and shaking water all over us.

Yes, that is indeed a marmot

Mt St Helens

We turned onto Riley, thinking we were in for all downhill. That was definitely not the case, and we ran into a number of people along this section. There were a few stream crossings, the largest of which had a makeshift stick and rock bridge, and huckleberries were sadly sparse. But we were chugging along, enjoying ourselves, when Cedar suddenly took off down a steep, densely-wooded hill down the side of the trail. We called and cajoled, but after hearing some rare barks and then yelps, we took off down the hill ourselves. We were getting worried with the complete silence when suddenly Cedar came rocketing down from the trail above, opposite side.

Cedar looks at Mt Rainier in the distance

A cluster of mushrooms in the summer dryness

I still have no idea how he circled back around so quietly, but I was glad to see him. We grabbed him and dragged him back up to the trail with us. From then on he was clipped to the leash, but he also seemed quite chagrined. Suddenly we were back at the car, giddy from a different kind of day off adventure and still very glad we brought Cedar along.

Mountain views

Cedar enjoying a swim in Sheep Lake

We drove home through Hood River and stopped for a beer at Double Mountain before walking down the block to Gorge Ice Cream. We couldn’t resist getting a tiny scoop of vanilla for Cedar, who, turns out, really loves it and embarrassed himself trying every which way to make out with it.

Ann & Cedar cross the makeshift bridge at Riley Creek

Upstream view of Riley Creek

Spending time with his top and fourth favorite two-legs, running free, romping in the dust, scaring a marmot, and eating ice cream— it’s difficult to imagine a better day for Cedar, our official Dog Gone Wildwood!

Ann & Cedar enjoying scoops at Gorge Ice Cream

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